Dear Chipotle,

It has been almost two years since I have last written you. During that time, a lot has changed in my life. I have matured, had minor success in my career, and I have upped my Chipotle intake to 3-4 times a week.

One thing that has not changed in my life is an ongoing travesty that has been overlooked for far too long. I am talking about an injustice for the ages; a lone tarnished mark on an otherwise flawless canopy of a “burrito heaven of a metro area”. I am speaking of the disappointing lack of a Chipotle in the Roseville, Minnesota area. Zip Code 55113.

Here is a map of the Chipotle restaurants in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) metro area.

ChipotleRosevilleBefore.jpg

For those unfamiliar with the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, this map basically details the layout of the metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and its surrounding suburbs. The black dots with numbers in them represent locations of my favorite restaurant, Chipotle. (CMG for you wannabe stockbrokers).

If you count the black dots on the map, you should be able to conclude that there are 34 Chipotle locations in the greater Twin Cities metro area (looks like #34 is actually in Wisconsin, but who’s counting… other than ME).

Perhaps to your untrained eye, you also may deduce that the Twin Cities metro area is well saturated with Chipotle locations. I tend to disagree. In fact, I would like to draw your attention to a blatant hole in the Twin Cities Chipotle landscape. Please refer to the next photograph for a more detailed explanation.

ChipotleRoseville.jpg

If you pay close attention to the above map, you will notice that I “connected the dots” for Chipotle locations surrounding the Roseville, Minnesota area. As you’ll notice, my “dot connecting” has encircled my location in Roseville, Minnesota on the map. I did not engage in any trickery in creating my circle; I merely drew a line from one dot to another.

Comparing my circle pattern to the rest of the map, you’ll probably notice that there is a certain void of Chipotle restaurants in comparison to any other circle on the map. In fact, I contend that the circle I have drawn effectively represents the only possible “hole” in the entire Twin Cities Chipotle canvas (excluding more rural areas of the Twin Cities, which rightfully feel isolated from the tasty goodness of Chipotle, yet lack the population density to sustain a strong argument in their favor).

When I look at where I presently reside in comparison to the “Chipotle Hole” above, I become even more disenfranchised from the “franchise” that is those who make decisions pertaining to Chipotle locations. Below is a map of my living location in comparison to local Chipotle restaurants.

ChipotleRosevilleAfter.jpg

If I can kindly draw your attention to the figure above, you will notice that I have supplemented the previous Chipotle area map with a gigantic blue arrow. This arrow is pointing to the location of my home; the blue dot.

As you will hopefully notice, I unfortunately reside in a section of the Twin Cities area that is not particularly close to a Chipotle restaurant. In fact, the average drive time that I must incur to any surrounding Chipotle restaurants is 13 minutes (click any of the address below for a Google Maps driving directions verifying my personal Chipotle plight):

2701 39th Ave. N.E. Suite 128
Minneapolis, MN 55421

800 Washington Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

867 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

2303 White Bear Ave, H
Maplewood, MN 55109

Demographics for a Chipotle location

I am hoping the evidence above, combined with my rudimentary Photoshop drawing, have established a precedent that there is a geographic void of Chipotle restaurants in the areas in and around Roseville, Minnesota. However, you may be asking yourself, “why should I care about whether Roseville has a Chipotle?”

Excellent question. Here is why:

  • According to an online information site, the population of Roseville, Minnesota is 33,690 (the Roseville population sign on the highway also says 33,690, so the site is instantly credible in my book)
  • According to the same site, the median income of residents of Roseville, Minnesota is $61,164 (aka, we can afford burritos).
  • In addition to Roseville, other communities are not being properly served by Chipotle, including (with links to their demographics):
  • According to the above statistics, Chipotle does not adequately satisfy the hunger needs of over 120,000 people!!!
  • There is an abundance of businesses residing in the Roseville area. There is an insatiable lunch crowd that would frequent Chipotle in a heartbeat.
  • There are 7 major colleges within 10 miles of Roseville. They are: Northwestern College, Bethel University, Hamline University, Macalester College, Concordia University, the University of St. Thomas, the College of St. Catherine. It’s no secret, COLLEGE KIDS LOVE CHIPOTLE!
  • Arguably the most popular mall in the Twin Cities is in Roseville. Rosedale Center is a popular desination for EVERYONE in the North, East, and even West metro. On the Rosedale Center website, you can view a PDF file with “facts” about the area surrounding Rosedale Mall. Here is an excerpt of these important facts:
    • Rosedale Mall serves a population of 778,321 people. 778,321 people go to Rosedale Mall as a primary source of shopping; yet there is no Chipotle to satisfy their appetites.
    • The Average household income of patrons for Rosedale Mall is $76,441. Obviously, Rosedale patrons can afford a carnitas burrito with extra salsa, Guacamole, Chips and Salsa, and a large Pop (aka Soda) for each family member, and not blink an eye.
    • The mall itself is over a MILLION square feet! In addition to the mall, there’s miles and miles of retail locations that thrive year round.
    • Roseville is a mecca for awesomeness (I don’t have anything to support this other than my own personal opinion).

As you can tell, my excessive research should prove more than ample in your reasoning for building a Chipotle location in the Roseville, Minnesota area.

A personal touch

I have lived in Roseville since April 2004. This is the longest I have lived in a single place since I left home for the first time. I feel comfortable in Roseville, and I sing the praises of the wonderful city every day. I take pride in venturing throughout the massive area, and I know every part of the city in the way that only a local would know. Above I sang the praises of the mall and the surrounding businesses, but I’m not sure that I gave supporting evidence to show why I think that the businesses in this area would thrive if given a “chipotletunity” (my own personal made up word). Here is my personal story of what Chipotle means to my community.

I have had cable television since I was a child. When I was in 7th grade, my father took me to our local cable company to pick up some cable equipment. The company was located in Roseville (934 Woodhill), and at the time our cable company was called North Central cable. Two years later, North Central was bought out by Meredith Cable, yet they maintained the same location. Three Years after that, they were bought out by AT&T Broadband, who decided to keep their location at 934 Woodhill. Two more years went by, and AT&T was bought by Comcast Cable. To this day, they still maintain the same location. My story revolves around a conversation I had at the Comcast branch office located at 934 Woodhill.

The events of the story occurred in 2004, while I was in the process of moving into my Roseville home. I was getting hooked up for Cable television and Internet. Rather than pay for installation of my cable services, I decided to go directly to their offices to obtain new equipment. While I was at the office, I overheard a conversation amongst Comcast employees that lead me to believe that having a Chipotle location in Rosevile, Minnesota would not only improve my present ‘potle situation, but would also improve the lives of those in my community. The conversation went as follows:

Person A: “What are you doing for lunch”

Person B: “I’m hungry, and I’ve really been craving Chipotle lately”

Person A: “Me too! I have been thinking about Chipotle all week!”

Person B: “The only problem is that there isn’t really a Chipotle near here… and we can’t take that much time off of work to go to the nearest location!”

Jeff Sauer: “Excuse me, but I overheard you talking about Chipotle… wouldn’t it be awesome if they had a location here in Roseville!”

Person A, Person B, and Persons C & D: “Yeah, I’d go there all the time!!”

Jeff Sauer: “I wonder what it takes to start a Chipotle franchise, we really need one here!”

Person B: “I don’t know what it takes, but I bet if you started one, you’d be a millionaire!”

This was a conversation from over two years ago, and yet there still is no Chipotle in Roseville. There was a need for a Chipotle in Roseville then, and there is certainly a need now. While I’m not sure that I have the cognitive capacity necessary to learn how to get Chipotle Chipotle corporation (CMG for you future stockbrokers) to start a new restaurant location, I am sure that I have the passion necessary to be an advocate for Chipotle in my community.

Potential Locations

What can I do to bring Chipotle to my community?

Hoping to make my above question rhetorical, I actually did some research about potential locations for Chipotle in the Roseville area. Here is what I found:

Location #1: The building right beside Caribou Coffee (2111 Snelling Avenue - Roseville, MN 55113) (Update: This location is now occupied).

This location is presently vacant, and I don’t see any new construction within. From what I’ve gathered in going to several Chipotle restaurants, this is probably not the most prime location for a restaurant. Working against this location are two major factors: 1) The lack of retail space. Chipotle could most likely fit into this restaurant area, but it would be a tight fit, and most likely lacks expansion opportunities. 2) The available space is on the inside of a building, and not on a corner. Every other Chipotle store that I have seen is either on a corner, or in its own building.

Whether this location is ideal or not, one must give Caribou some serious credit for their abundance of locations in the Roseville area. They took the polar opposite approach to Roseville colonization to Chipotle. Here’s a map of evidence.

CaribouCoffee.jpg

They have 5 locations in Roseville!

Location #2: The old Har Mar Movie Theater (2100 N Snelling - Roseville, MN 55113)

Within the last month, the Har Mar movie theater was closed. I’m not sure what business will show up in its place, but I have an idea that I’m sure everyone will appreciate: the first ever Chipotle playland!!! At the risk of making an untimely McDonalds reference, I must say that I think that a gigantic Chipotle is a legitimate option for the Roseville area. (click images for high-res photos)
ChipotleRoseville_004.jpgChipotleRoseville_006.jpg

Location #3: The old Frank’s Nursery (read about the demise of Frank’s on Wikipedia) (1800 Hwy 36 - Roseville, MN 55113)

Somehow Frank’s Nursery and Crafts went out of business in Roseville. I’m 98% positive that they went out of business because my mom no longer lived within a 20 minute radius of the store. Others may contend differently, but I know the buying patterns of Fran Sauer, and I think my case speaks for itself.

Regardless of how Franks went out of business, there’s presently a void where the store once flourished. Actually, the location has been an empty storefront for at least a year. After doing a Google search about the building, I learned that it is presently being rezoned, and it will become retail space. Perhaps this will be enough space for a Chipotle!

ChipotleRoseville_014.jpgChipotleRoseville_015.jpg

Location #4: Next To Party City (2485 Fairview Ave N - Roseville, MN 55113)

This is a fairly large location, and it seems to have been vacant for at least a year or two. It is across the street from Rosedale mall, and would absolutely flourish as a Chipotle restaurant. There is also ample parking. This would be the perfect location for a Chipotle restaurant.

ChipotleRoseville_007.jpgChipotleRoseville_009.jpg

Location #5: Next to Quiznos (2325 Fairview Ave N - Roseville, MN 55113)

While taking pictures of the other Roseville locations, I stumbled across the most convenient location yet. Near the Quiznos in Roseville, there is a recently vacated corner building. It is ideal size for a Chipotle, and has a lot of parking. It is very close to a Starbucks, and very close to Archiver’s (a scrapbooking store, and from what my sister tells me, Scrapbookers love Chipotle!)

ChipotleRoseville_012.jpgChipotleRoseville_010.jpg

Conclusion

As you can see, I am passionate about bringing Chipotle to Roseville, Minnesota. For over two years I have waited for a restaurant to spring up, and to this point my hopes have only lead to disappointment. Now I am taking matters into my own hands, and trying to give you as much information as possible so that you can build a restaurant in my area.

I will also volunteer my personal time if you need someone to scout locations for you, or do any other research. I am not presently aware of your policies and standards regarding new restaurant developments, but if you could send me that information, I would be more than willing to learn them.

I am willing to do anything to bring a Chipotle restaurant to Roseville, Minnesota.

Let’s get this project started.

Sincerely,

Jeff Sauer
2209 Midlothian Rd
Roseville, MN
651-334-4248